IOC Suspends Indian Olympic Association; Athletes Could Lose Financial Support
The IOC yesterday “suspended the Indian Olympic Association for chronic violations of the international Olympic Charter, creating one of the most embarrassing episodes in Indian sports history,” according to Gardiner Harris of the N.Y. TIMES. The suspension “could cost athletes in India financial support from funds provided by the international committee.” It also means that “unless the sanctions are lifted, Indian athletes cannot compete under the country’s flag in Olympic events.” The IOC in a statement said that its exec board “decided to suspend the Indian association because of ‘its failure to comply with the Olympic Charter and its statutes, failure to inform the IOC in a timely matter, and as a protective measure against government interference in the IOA’s election process.’” Harris notes most of India’s sports leaders are “politicians who are either too old or have been in power too long to meet international leadership guidelines” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/5). The AFP reported India's sports officials "slammed the IOC's decision." IOA President-elect Abhey Singh Chautala said, "It is wrong and a one-sided decision. We will meet [today] to decide our future course of action" (AFP, 12/4). The PRESS TRUST OF INDIA noted former IOA Secretary General Randhir Singh "insisted" that the IOC is "not against the country but against the system." Singh said, "The mess that is happening today in the Olympic committee needs to be cleaned up. I think what we are heading for now with this suspension is that it gives an opportunity to clean the mess” (PRESS TRUST OF INDIA, 12/4).